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Texans could repeat draft history

Last Modified: Monday, May 05, 2014 4:56 PM

By Jim Gazzolo / American Press

The Texans are on the clock.

For the first time since 2006, the Houston Texas have the top pick in the NFL draft.

Funny thing is, not much has changed since then when you consider the team’s options.

The Texans have won a couple division titles, even a few playoff games since the last time they were picking first in the field. But they haven’t really made a run at the Super Bowl and now they are back to square one.

Now we find out if they repeat their past.

In 2006 the Texans had a chance to draft a hometown kid who would be the face of the franchise for years to come. Or they could have picked the Heisman Trophy winner who was an electrifying running back while in college.

They passed on both Vince Young and Reggie Bush.

Instead they selected Mario Williams, a defensive end out of North Carolina.

Bush has been good but not great. Young had his moments, but a few too many bad ones off the field had him out of the league until Thursday, when he signed with the Cleveland Browns.

Williams has been a Pro Bowler twice and is still making plays, just not in Houston.

So the Texans did the right thing back in ’06.

Now they are up again and all eyes will be watching.

This time the local hero at quarterback is Johnny Manziel, a son of Texas himself who has said the Texans will pay if they don’t take him first. The Texans could sure use a quarterback as well as a face for their franchise.

Truth be told, Manziel’s name is probably worth more than his talents right now. And he too has had some issues off the field.

Thus the Texans have a dilemma. Pick a name and hope he turns out or pick a player and prey he turns out.

Either way there are no guarantees.

If they pass on Johnny Football and he becomes a star, somebody is likely going to lose their job.

If they pick Manziel and he becomes a bust, somebody is likely going to lose their job.

With so much on the line the Texans must be sure before they call out the right name.

If they turn away from a quarterback they once again could be looking at taking a defensive end with freakish skills. But they let Williams go as a free agent or they would not need such a guy in this draft.

Sometimes it matters more what you do with the talent you have than the talent you draft.

So the Texans must be sure of their pick’s talent, work ethic, maturity and, maybe most importantly, his character.

Manziel is a character, but does he have enough character to lead a professional football team is the real question?

There is no doubt Manziel has talent, a unique way of turning bad plays into good and makes the most of a bad situation.

But he can also embarrass his team with some strange antics.

And there are other choices out there for the Texans.

The team can take a safer pick at quarterback or maybe even pick one up in a trade or free agency. That’s how they got Matt Schaub, and before you fall on the floor laughing, he has won two playoff games and a pair of division titles.

Houston can also trade the pick and find its quarterback either with the move or later in the draft.

Manziel might be the biggest name in this draft, but is he worth the number one pick is what the Texans must decide.

Or maybe the question about Manziel is whether you trust him with your job?

That’s for the Texas to decide.

Jim Gazzolo is managing sports editor. Email him at

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